Investors and supporters of the blockchain spend a lot of time discussing cryptography markets and values: but the underlying blockchain technology is what really makes disruptive cryptocurrency.
And the truth is that if an article appears on a shelf, human or torn from the ground, then in the very near future, they will be placed on that shelf with the help of blockchain technology.
From lettuce to plush toys to computers, the scale of opportunity is – as many have commented – as mind-blowing as the Internet itself. It's the real reason investors are throwing money into anything with potential and they are starting funds at unprecedented rates. No one knows which company will be the next Amazonia, but the feeling that it is out there is palpable. There could be dozens
Every transport company. Every manufacturer Every technological company Every retailer.
This is the reference market for blockchain in the supply chain.
The supply chain includes all the parts that guarantee that a product or service arrives from creation to end users. It includes production, distribution, warehousing, shipping, dealers and all the logistics in between. One of the most important blockchains focused on supply chain management is VeChain, which we discussed a little here at Crypto Briefing.
But it is not here that stops. A recent Statistic survey of 200 logistics companies has discovered that they are spending to understand, test and implement blockchain technology. Here is how the blockchain is currently developed and distributed along the supply chain.
The Blockchain in Manufacturing
We are currently in the middle of what is called the Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. The first iteration was mechanization, water power and steam power. The second was mass production through the assembly line. The third one concerned computers and automation.
Industry 4.0 combines the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing to create so-called cyber-physical systems. During this emerging process, digital twins are created for physically manufactured objects. These computer-generated models collect large amounts of data to identify inefficiencies, diagnose problems and even predict maintenance.
Manufacturers have little room for error and strict guidelines are in place. If every piece that is assembled is not designed to exact specifications, we'll end up with a situation like the Samsung debacle that explodes in 2016
A recall of faulty products can cost a company a lot of money. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued over $ 100 million in civil penalties since 2015 for companies over defective products. The agency reports that in 2016 (the most recent year with available data) there were 240,000 injuries related to toys treated in US emergency departments.
That's why manufacturing companies look to the blockchain to decentralize their data.  The Renault group, for example, collaborates with Microsoft and VISEO on a digital twin prototype for blockchain-based car maintenance. This ensures that the maintenance history of a vehicle is traceable even if it changes ownership. Carfax is not necessary when you can simply check the digital ledger.
Bosch and TUV Rheinland are working on a similar automotive blockchain that tracks odometer readings and saves up to $ 7.5 billion in annual fraud. It is estimated that up to $ 3,700 in value is fraudulently added to the values of used cars due to illegally manipulated odometers.
Corneli University's arXiv repository contains several case studies for blockchains in production and IBM is dedicated to integrating production data into its blockchain platform.
The Blockchain in Distribution
FedEx CEO Fred Smith told the 2018 Consensus that blockchain technology is the first technology to consolidate trust in transnational shipments. Matthias Heutger, DHL's global innovation manager, reiterated this sentiment in a public report entitled "Blockchain in Logistics."
In the report, the Heutger team outlines the complex flow of information and the 10 or more parties involved in any transaction in the import / export sector. Even once inside the United States, there are over 500,000 trucking companies employing almost 3.5 million truckers only in the United States. These trucks transport nearly 70 percent of all freight transport each year, which represents $ 671 billion worth of goods in the United States alone
Both DHL and FedEx hold a huge share in this sector and look to the blockchain to reduce errors, increase transparency and ultimately eliminate the frictions that currently exist in their supply chain sector
According to the World Economic Forum, reducing this friction could increase GDP by almost 5%, increasing trade by 15%.  And they are not alone: in November 2017, UPS joined FedEx, Penske, SAP, Microsoft, Google and hundreds of other companies in the Blockchain in the Trucking Alliance. The purpose of the forum is the development of blockchain technology standards and education for the freight transport industry.
Maersk and IBM are partners in a supply chain to digitize and track end-to-end global trade. Zim is conducting experiments on a blockchain with bills of lading that simplifies the bureaucratic procedures for containers that are transported across the ocean on merchant ships. Accenture is doing the same.
Even the United States General Inspector's Office has been researching the use of blockchain technology since 2016. The potential applications it recommends are financial services, device management, identity services and management. of the supply chain. He filed a blockchain patent in September 2017.
The Blockchain in Warehousing
Warehouses have all the challenges of manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Inventory management is at the heart of their business and they need to know exactly where each stage of the process is located.
In addition, they must ensure that the products are authentic. Counterfeiting is a real problem, and the National Security Department reports $ 44 million of counterfeit goods seized through 1,845 seizures in 2017, an increase of 12% compared to 2016. Despite this, the "World Report on Brand Counterfeiting 2018 "estimate $ 1.2 trillion in counterfeit goods were produced worldwide, causing losses of $ 323 billion in 2017.
The biggest warehousing scam committed in recent years is the Qingdao scandal, in which they were used over 400,000 tons of metal to secure over $ 3 billion in financing. The problem was that the metal did not exist and false warehouse receipts were used to make it look like them.
Because of these problems, electronic monitoring is implemented in warehouses around the world. Using QR codes and blockchain technology, shipments are identified and tracked much more easily.
Accenture and DHL have collaborated to create a proof-of-concept prototype of a blockchain-based serialization project that can prove that pharmaceuticals are genuine. Walmart, IBM and others have recently formed the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance to improve the integrity of the food supply chain.
The Ardnamurchan distillery, which produces Scottish whiskey using renewable energy, has used blockchain-based QR codes for its version of Ardnamurchan AD 2017.
Each of these companies understands the usefulness of blockchain technology and is actively pursuing it to optimize current processes and alleviate weaknesses.
In another decade, blockchain technology will be a standard operating procedure throughout the supply chain.
So, if you've ever wondered where blockchain really made a difference … it's all, everywhere, anytime.
Until the next thing comes, anyway.
Currently the author is not invested in any digital currency.